Sunday, February 26, 2017

Quilter's Block a Day Calendar Week 9

Ooops! I mean Week 9.

I have enjoyed hearing from many of you about how much you like seeing all these blocks each week. I am so happy to share them. Here we are in Week 8 with seven more blocks!

February 26: Squire Smith's Choice. Look at those little animals and Squire Smith!

February 26: Squire Smith's Choice, 12"
 February 27: Little House
February 27: Little House, 6"
 February 28: Windmill. Such a beautiful blue and white photo of an old windmill!

February 28: Windmill, 8"
February 29: Winged Nine Patch. HOLD ON! There is no February 29 this year! It's not Leap Year. But it's part of the calendar because this is a perpetual calendar (not tied to any one year). We had to put it in there, ok?

February 29: Winged Nine Patch, 16"
 March 1: Alabama

March 1: Alabama, 9"
 March 2: Album Block
March 2: Album Block, 12"
 March 3: Arizona
March 3: Arizona, 12"
March 4: Rocky Road to Dublin
March 4: Rocky Road to Dublin, 12"
Don't forget. If you own the calendar, you can download the free pdf that lists the 366 blocks by size (instead of only alphabetically).

Here it is in case you missed it: Quilter's Block a Day Calendar Size List

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Week Three: Everyone's a Star Quilt Along

It's my week for the block reveal and I thought I'd share how these fabrics are described at the Benartex web site:

"Red, black, and cream make a bold statement in this beautiful Asian inspired collection! From the large circle prints to the flowing “Oshi Stems”, Moon Flower is a design masterpiece, destined to make quilts to be treasured for years to come."

Let's see the fabrics again, OK?


Moon Flower by Kanvas Studios for Benartex Fabrics
 And another view:
Aren't these yummy?
It was so difficult to choose just 4 fabrics for my block, but somehow I did!
Four fabrics for my block
Take a visit to the blog size for the Everyone's a Star Quilt Along to see how I cut and pieced my block. There is a cutting chart, too. Remember, you have a chance to win some fat quarter bundles, too!

Moon Flower Block, Week 3 Quilt Along

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Revisiting Shot Cottons with Windham Fabrics

I've shared these before but I just love the colors and the way they look when when stitched up. I prefer shot cottons to plain solids. Shot cottons have two colored threads woven together so they can almost seem to have a sheen. Let's look at my bundle from Windham:

Artisan Cottons by Windham Fabrics
Of course, they don't look so neat anymore! That's because I've been chopping and stitching up some blocks. I've shared these before, but let's revisit them!

My paper pieced Palm/Hosannah blocks:

Four 10" Palm Blocks
I shared making this South Carolina Block back in 2015:

South Carolina Block with borders
This is a PAPER PIECED pattern for a 12" block. (I added the borders later). You can have the FREE pattern: South Carolina Star. If you look closely at those points and odd shaped patches, if you want to convert this to templates - be my guest! Paper piecing gives me accuracy every time.

Here is a Rail Fence quilt I made last year, thinking a magazine might pick it up. Nope! Their loss, I guess. This is just 2-1/2" strips sewn together and cut apart into 6-1/2" wedges. I love how the colors float between those two cream strips, don't you? No pattern. But you can figure this out, I know.

Shots and Strips quilt
I thought this was pretty modern. But to quote a certain magazine (that features modern projects and has picked up several of mine in the past few years): "We're sorry, but this doesn't meet with our editorial goals at this time."

Here is a digital image of my patches. The cream strips are cut 2-1/2" (as are the colored fabrics). The 'border" is just random 2-1/2" squares and cream rectangles.

Shots and Strips quilt block layout
I hope you'll consider shot cottons the next time you are in the market for solids.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Quilter's Block a Day Calendar: Week 8

Another week. Seven more blocks. So many ideas and fabrics and colors. Let's begin!

February 19: Mosaic Variation
February 19: Mosaic Variation, 8"
 February 20: Mosaic Star

 February 20: Mosaic Star, 12"

February 21: Railroad Crossing

February 21: Railroad Crossing, 12"
 February 22: Washington Star (Happy Birthday, George!)

February 22: Washington Star, 12"
 Oh. Let's see a picture of Old George and some president's fabric that I featured a few years ago.



February 23: Right Hand of Fellowship. Yes, that's one of my articles published in Quick Quilts Magazine. Patricia had a copy!

February 23: Right Hand of Fellowship, 9"
February 24: Sawtooth Pinwheel
February 24: Sawtooth Pinwheel, 8"
 February 25: Sunshine and Shadows

February 25: Sunshine and Shadows, 12"
Have a great week! More blocks next Sunday.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Quilt Along, Block Two

Are you still with us? How are your own blocks coming along? Here is our second block in the Benartex Everyone's a Star Quilt Along. I will also show you my steps in making that triangle pieced unit.

Stephanie's Block: 12" finished
 My method for stitching those 1/4 square triangle units is to cut two squares 1-1/4" larger than the finished size of the unit (4"). A white print and a red print square: 5-1/4" x 5-1/4". I drew lines along BOTH diagonals on the wrong side of the light print. Stitched 1/4" along both sides of ONE line. Cut them apart first on the NON-stitched line.

Stitched along ONE diagonal
 Then I cut along the other diagonal line:
Now I have four double-triangle units
 Can we see them? I now have two units of each orientation. I will only use the ones on the left.
All four units pressed open
 I combine a two-triangle unit with a black print triangle (cut from a 4-7/8" square):
A black triangle and a two-triangle unit ready to be sewn
 To make the whole block I use:

  • Four of the units above
  • Four squares cut 4-1/2" of one light print
  • One square cut 4-1/2" of a second light print (for the center)

Block parts with last two horizontal seams ready to be stitched
And the final block?
Stephanie's block!
Take a visit today to the next installment to see how Stephanie created her block using her collection. 2017 Everyone's a Star Quilt Along.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Windham Wednesdays and FREE pattern!

Today I want to feature a new collection called Type Band - colors I would not typically work with because they are more earthy than jewel toned. But they are so perfect for a masculine quilt. And I have a young man in mind who is a talented musician.

First, the fabrics in Type Band by Windham.

Type Band by Whistler Studios for Windham Fabrics
Here is what is said about this at the Windham site:

A new collection from Whistler Studios, Type Band echoes the most beloved musical genres of blues, jazz and classic rock and roll. Trombones, guitars, saxophones and playful music notes are accompanied by stripes and a soft word print. Printed in neutral brown and cream, Type Band is a versatile collection and is sure to be a hit with any music lover. 12 skus. 

I designed a pattern for another musical collection last year (Three Quarter Time). I decided to use the star and piano blocks from THAT pattern for Type Band. Let's see the pattern (FREE, of course):

Musical Stars Pattern
Now, let's see what I did, OK? Here's the piano template, and I used a black blender from Windham's basics line. This will be appliqued to a 12-1/2" background square (just like in the pattern above).
Freezer paper template for piano
What's with the squiggles on the bottom there? Well, think about it! I have to cut on all those vertical lines. The squiggles are the piano keys (and not spaces); this was to make sure I didn't slice off one of those keys!

Then what? I had to stitch the lines next to the keys so that you would know it was a keyboard! The black fabric is interfaced with fusible interfacing (NOT fusible webbing). Drew black lines for the keyboard:

I drew black lines for my satin stitches
This is what it looks like from the back.
Paper to stabilize my satin stitching (so it wouldn't "tunnel" or bunch up)
I sewed four stars and one piano. This is one of my favorite settings. Five blocks? No problem! Add 6-1/2" x 12-1/2" rectangles on either side of the piano. Now my setting is really a 2 x 3 assembly (with one of the center "blocks" divided!)


I'm not sure how I will finish it. Maybe just with binding (as you can see it auditioned in the picture below). Since all I was sent were fat quarters, I won't use any one fabric for borders (if I use them).
The stripe is printed on the diagonal. How cool is that?!
For the FREE Musical Stars pattern, click the link. And don't forget to check out Type Band, too. There's another FREE pattern there!
Free pattern using Type Band fabrics

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Love (and Chocolate) is in the Air

Love is in the air. "We love because He first loved us." How about some chocolate, the kind with no calories? I put these blocks together from last year and I kind of like this. But I want some REAL chocolate today, too! (But my husband isn't on Facebook; I think I'll leave him a note in the kitchen, next to his coffee cup)

Letters from a post last year
 And I was a bit mixed up!
More letters - can you tell what they spell?
And here are the 2 quilts I made:
Love Bug quilt made with Benartex Fabrics
And the one I made with the chocolate fabrics - yum, yum! Just needs to be quilted. (All fabrics are from Benartex and the Oh Fudge! Collection.)

Dancing letters spell the eternal message: I Love You! Oh Fudge Collection
Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Quilter's Block a Day Calendar: Week 7 and FREE Pattern

Week 7. Are you still with me? Today is February 12, Abraham Lincoln's birthday. He lived in the White House and today's block is The White House Steps. Though, I did use an upcoming fabric line from Windham called Storybook Americana for this. It features George Washington chopping down that infamous cherry tree. George didn't live in the White House, because it wasn't built yet. Can you see the image in the light blue fabric in the center?

George Washington chopping down that cherry tree
So, where is my block? I upsized the 11" block in the calendar to a whopping 22" and added borders. I only had these pieces remaining, so that's why they are different.

White House Steps, 22" block
Now, let's see Patricia's blocks!
February 12: White House Steps
February 12: White House Steps, 11"

February 13: Four Hearts
February 13: Four Hearts, 10"
February 14: Heart Wreath
February 14: Heart Wreath, 10"
February 15: King's Crown
February 15: King's Crown, 16"
I have made several quilts using this fabulous block. As you can see in my samples below, changing out the fabrics in those corner squares can create a secondary design. This was a class I taught in Atlanta many years ago using Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

King's Crown Quilt
And here's another that I did for Quilt Magazine:
King's Crown using an Asian collection
And the pattern for a FREE King's Crown quilt from my Block a Day Calendar CD (no longer published, so I own the rights again). Here is the digital image:

King's Crown Quilt: 64" x 80"
February 16: Lone Pine Tree
February 16: Lone Pine Tree, 6"
February 17: Red Cross
February 17: Red Cross, 10"
February 18: Jacob's Ladder
February 18: Jacob's Ladder, 8"
See you next week!